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Think of Muddy like your digital town crier. Roll up, roll up!


New kids on the block

Aylesbury is not renowned for its sophisticated nightlife (sorry, Aylesbury) but it does feel like change might finally be afoot. Sleek Japanese bar and grill MIYA is coming soon and looks promising, while mini-chain Lounges is opening Rococo Lounge on Exchange Street on 3 April. We’ve been to a couple of the latter’s outposts around Oxon and have been impressed by their buzzy feel, quirky retro interiors and all-day dining from breakfast through to late night cocktails.

Meanwhile over in Oxford, Colombia Coffee Roasters (who toast their beans in Wheatley near Muddy HQ) opened a new cafe on Banbury Road in Summertown last weekend, in addition to their Covered Market branch. And boozehounds of Abingdon will be pleased to hear of not one but two new drinking dens arriving on the high street. The Mercer, opening imminently, will sell locally brewed beers and wines, while The Old Chemist (can you hazard a guess what the building used to be?), opening Good Friday, will be a gin bar and smokehouse. Chin chin!


They’re baaaaack!

There are lots of reopenings and renovations going on right now. We’ve hear a rumour that The Leatherne Bottel in Goring is reopening again soon after its sudden shut-down last year. Good news – that gawjus riverside location has lazy summer days written all over it.

We’re also pleased to hear of the reopening of West Hendred’s only pub. The little village near Wantage has been boozer-free for four years but The Hare returns after a £500,000 refurb and the reinstatement of its original moniker, The Extraordinary Hare. Let’s hope it lives up to its name – no pressure, guys!

Meanwhile, there’s lots going on Oxford. The Somerset in Marston is another pub that’s been closed for years but it’s reopening as the Up In Arms. It’s from the team behind Rusty Bicycle and Rickety Press so should be a good ‘un. The James Street Tavern in East Oxford has just been taken over by the team behind Jericho’s Old Bookbinders and The Grapes on George Street is about to be renovated (for the second time in two years) after being bought by West Berkshire Brewery. It’s due to open at the end of April.


Shopping fix

Bicester’s getting a new £40m retail park in October 2019, just off the A41, with facilities including a Next, an M&S (the Bicester High Street one is closing), a restaurant and a gym. While it’s hard to get too excited about this kind of thing to be honest, at least it’ll provide local jobs (300, apparently) not to mention a more affordable foil to the mega-swish designer brands at Bicester Village.


And finally…

We know how nuts you lot are about floral wreath-making so it’s our public service duty to inform you that celeb gardener Jonathan Moseley, from The Big Allotment Challenge, is running an Easter wreath workshop at Notcutts Garden Centre in Nuneham Courtenay. It’s on Tues 26 March, 4.30pm to 9.30pm, with tickets £69 including materials and – oh yeah! – a buffet.

Finally, fancy an ice cream? Yeah yeah, it’s still a bit parky outside but this is FREE ice cream. If you’re in High Wycombe this Friday, 22 March, look out for beauty brand Olay’s special ice cream van lurking around the Eden Centre – they’ve got 300 freebies to give away, plus samples of their new skincare range.

Find more ideas here

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